Tag: Larry Baldacci

Review: Ragtime (Griffin Theatre)

Laura McClain, Ben Miller and Larry Baldacci star in Ragtime, Griffin Theatre            
   
      

Ragtime
 
By Terrence McNally (book),
Lynn Ahrens (lyric), Stephen Flaherty (music)
at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru July 22  |  tix: $34-$39  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

June 26, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: West Side Story (Paramount Theatre)

It’s the classic tale of the Sharks versus the Jets in West Side Story, one of the greatest musicals ever, playing March 16-April 24, 2016 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666. Photo credit: Liz Lauren.          
      
  

West Side Story

Written by Leonard Bernstein (music),
  Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Arthur Laurents (book)
Paramount Theatre, Aurora, IL  (map)
thru Apr 24  |  tix: $41-$56  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   

March 21, 2016 | 2 Comments More

Review: 42nd Street (Paramount Theatre)

Tyler Hanes stars as Billy Lawlor in Paramount Theatre's "42nd Street," directed by Rachel Rockwell, music directed by Doug Peck. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        
      
42nd Street

By Harry Warren (music), Al Dubin (lyrics),
   Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble (book),
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
at Paramount Theatre, Aurora (map)
thru Feb 9  |  tickets: $37-$50   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

January 27, 2014 | 1 Comment More

Review: Woman in Mind (Eclipse Theatre)

Sally Eames, Ted Hoerl and Larry Baldacci star in Eclipse Theatre's "Woman in Mind" by Sir Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Steve Scott. (photo credit: Scott Cooper)        
       
Woman in Mind 

Written by Sir Alan Ayckbourn 
Directed by Steve Scott
at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru May 19  |  tickets: $28   |  more info 
       
Half-price tickets available here 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

April 15, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Music Man (Paramount Theatre)

Stef Tovar), although Marian the librarian (Emily Rohm,        
      
The Music Man

Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
at Paramount Theatre, Aurora (map)
thru Feb 3  |  tickets: $35-$47   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

January 30, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: A Catered Affair (Porchlight Music Theatre)

Rebecca Finnegan - A Catered Affair, Porchlight Music Theatre       
      
A Catered Affair 

Book by Harvey Fierstein 
Music and Lyrics by John Bucchino
Directed by Nick Bowling 
at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont (map)
thru April 1  |  tickets: $38   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Spring Awakening (Griffin Theatre)

A scene from the song "Totally F*cked" in Griffin Theatre's "Spring Awakening," directed by Jonathan Berry.      
     
Spring Awakening 

Book/Lyrics by Steven Sater
Music by Duncan Sheik 
Directed by Jonathan Berry  
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Jan 8  |  tickets: $38   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

December 5, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Front Page (TimeLine Theatre)

  
  

Updated: Now extended through July 17th!!

TimeLine’s signature dramaturgy venerates classic media satire

  
  

Editor Walter Burns (Terry Hamilton, right) and reporter Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers, left) work the phones as the biggest story of the year breaks around them in TimeLine Theatre’s revival of the Chicago classic THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, directed by Nick Bowling. Photo by Lara Goetsch

  
TimeLine Theatre presents
  
The Front Page
      
Written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
Directed by Nick Bowling
at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (map
thru July 17 (extended!)  tickets: $18-$38  |  more info

Reviewed by Dan Jakes

Former Chicago newspaper men Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur took aim at city politics, print journalism, corrupt justice practices, and even themselves in their scathing 1928 comedy about a Windy City press room. So what was their ax to grind?
Far as I could tell, they didn’t have one. Even as they unmercifully and repeatedly jab at their subjects, most of which are barely sheathed caricatures of then-contemporary real-life figures, you can read some smiles between Hecht and MacArthur’s searing lines. The Front Page lampoons Jazz Age Chicago the way Trey Parker and Matt Stone eviscerate 21st century pop culture week after week on South Park—with a dash of anarchy and a palpable love for their targets. It’s one of the reasons why this TimeLine revival of a historic work is actually funny.

Peggy Grant (Bridgette Pechman Clarno, left) isn’t so sure that Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers, right) is ready to leave his life as a reporter to get married in TimeLine Theatre’s revival of the Chicago classic THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, directed by Nick Bowling. Photo by Lara GoetschAnother is director Nick Bowling and artistic director PJ Powers’ willingness to play up the show’s silliness without playing down the characters’ grotesque flaws; these journalists are brash, lazy, immature, dishonest, misogynistic, racist buffoons. Maybe it was my imagination, but at a few points, I swear some were audibly farting on stage. When the most sympathetic man in the office is an escaped murderer, you know you’re working with a real handful…

Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers) makes a break from the boy’s club and heads to New York with his fiancé (Bridgette Pechman Clarno), or at least tries to before a death row inmate escapes from his office’s neighboring jail. The ensuing chaos exposes incompetence and corruption at every level of the city, from the opportunistic editors, to the deal making politicians, to the incapable police officers, to the dishonest reporters. Hilariously, too absorbed in troubles of their own making, the actual threat of the killer on the loose ranks near the bottom of the characters’ group consciousness.

Even near the brink, Powers and Terry Hamilton (Walter Burns) are grounded and convincing, while Bill McGough and Rob Riley get to have a little more fun as Chester Gould-type cartoons.        

Bowling’s production is brisk, clean, driven at just the right speed, and refined with an eye for details, both big—his cast is just right; it’s enough of a challenge to appropriately fill roles in a standard-sized show, and The Front Page is huge; and small—a 100 percent grease-saturated translucent hamburger bag evokes a reminder of why we’re the City of Broad Shoulders.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers, right) and Mollie Malloy (Mechelle Moe, left) are determined to hide escaped killer Earl Williams (Rob Fagin, center) before he can be discovered by the police in TimeLine Theatre’s revival of the Chicago classic THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, directed by Nick Bowling.  Photo by Lara Goetsch

Editor Walter Burns (Terry Hamilton, right) doesn’t want Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers, left) to quit his job as a reporter for the Herald-Examiner in TimeLine Theatre’s revival of the Chicago classic THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, directed by Nick Bowling. Photo by Lara Goetsch. Reporter Hildy Johnson (PJ Powers) calls the news desk at his paper the Herald-Examiner to report a scoop on the biggest story of the year in TimeLine Theatre’s revival of the Chicago classic THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, directed by Nick Bowling. Photo by Lara Goetsch
   

The Front Page continues through June 12th at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, with performances Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8:30pm, and Sundays at 7pm.  Tickets are $28-$38 ($18 for students), and can be purchased by phone (773-281-8436 x6) or online. More info at timelinetheatre.com.

All photos by Lara Goetsch.

        
April 22, 2011 | 2 Comments More